A Typical Session

Preparing for Your Appointment

Patient-Centered Care
It isn't necessary to do much before you come in for your acupuncture appointment. However, it is better if you are neither too hungry nor too full, so it is good to eat something light an hour or two before. The same goes for hydration. Many people prefer to wear loose clothing to their appointment so the acupuncture points can be easily accessed. It is advisable to avoid doing anything physically strenuous on the day of your treatment, either before or after, especially when seeking treatment for pain. In addition, doing things like going to bed at a reasonable hour, eating well, avoiding intoxicants, staying hydrated, resting, and generally taking it easy on the day of your treatment can all help enhance and prolong the positive effects of acupuncture.

The Interview Process

Appointments begin with an exploration of your chief complaint. Through the interview process and traditional Chinese medicine diagnosis, we gain a detailed understanding of the nature of your chief complaint and how it fits into the framework of your overall health. The initial interview is usually about fifteen to twenty minutes long, though with complex cases it can go up to forty-five minutes. The more I can learn, the better I can understand your case, so please tell me everything you can think of, whether is seems relevant or not. Our conversations are completely confidential and I am accustomed to talking with people about complex emotions and intimate bodily functions so there is no need to hold back. Furthermore, analyzing comprehensive sets of information is important in Chinese medicine for making what is called a differential diagnosis, a way of understanding your unique, individual case and medical presentation. Even things that seem unrelated can be significant in Chinese medicine so it is beneficial to explore anything and everything. I also understand that you know your body better than anyone else so I want to hear about what you think is going on, what you think is causing your condition, and how you think things are related.

You Can Tell Me Anything

First, I want to emphasize that everything we talk about is completely confidential. Second, in Chinese medicine our bodies and minds are completely inseparable so wellness is not just about feeling good pysically, it is also about feeling good emotionally. It is entirely appropriate during the interview for you to talk about all of your symptoms. My office is a safe space to express and discuss anything and everything so there is no need to be anything other than direct. Third, I will never dismiss your symptoms as imaginary or suggest that they are all in your head. In Chinese medicine, whatever you are experiencing is real and valid and every symptom is considered to be a valuable clue, no matter how vague of seemingly unrelated. This medicine has an amazingly logical system for interpreting all types of symptoms. Finally, know that I am here to listen and help, not judge. As a medical practitioner, I know that we are all born with different strengths and weaknesses and that even though we should try and aim for a higher level of wellness, no one is perfect. I love that Chinese medicine recognizes that we are all unique, quirky individuals and that part of my job is getting the opportunity to meet so many different types of people. I want to help you be the best, most authentic you possible.

The Acupuncture Treatment

First I want to say that I work with people all the time who've never had acupuncture before and that I remember what it was like my first time, so I understand that you may be hesitant or unsure about what it will be like. Know that we don't use medical syringes, so I can assure you that acupuncture is nothing like getting a shot or getting blood drawn. Actually, most people are pleasantly surprised by how little sensation there is from the needles. If you like, you are welcome to examine an acupuncture needle first, or I can demonstrate needling on myself for you. We can also start with just one point in a neutral place so you can get an idea of how it feels before we begin the treatment. The acupuncture needles are more like tiny wires that are very thin and flexible, slipping between the cells instead of cutting in like a syringe, so it is extremely rare for there to be any bruising or bleeding. The vast majority of people feel very little when the needles first go in, though sometimes there is a tiny split-second pinch, like a mosquito bite, or a small reflexive twitch. If anything is uncomfortable, we can easily adjust it. Once the needles are in they often seem to disappear, though some people may feel a gentle tingling, heaviness, ache, or other temporary mild sensation from them. The acupuncture treatment itself occurs on a standard massage table, with plenty of extra cushions, blankets, and an infrared heat lamp to make sure you are nice and cozy. I usually choose about fifteen points and they stay in for approximately 25 to 30 minutes. Once they are in I leave the room so you can focus inward undistracted. There is no need to stay completely still. In fact, during this time it is perfectly fine to breathe deeply, shift and wiggle a bit, and allow your muscles to release. Most people get very relaxed, many fall asleep; acupuncture is an excellent way to decompress and unwind. Afterward, you may feel a little spacey or sleepy for a bit, but usually that only lasts for a few minutes. I include other traditional complementary therapies at no extra charge, so depending on your condition, I may follow the acupuncture with some or all of those listed below.

Complementary Therapies that Enhance Acupuncture

Chinese medicine is so much more than just acupuncture. As a Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, I am also trained in different types of traditional therapies that can enhance the effects of acupuncture, helping you get better faster, giving me the ability to address a wide range of diverse conditions. Acupuncture is the fundamental therapy upon which all of my treatments are built, but my toolbox also includes Chinese herbal medicine, 5-element nutrition, ba guan (cupping), tui na (Chinese medical massage), zhi ya (acupressure), chi nei tsang (internal organ massage), gua sha (massage with jade and horn tools), and topical herbal formulas for pain. If your condition would benefit from any of these traditional techniques they are included at no extra charge. Please click here for more information about my acupuncture treatments.
"Nancy Hyton is perceptive, insightful and has been able to help both me and my wife with issues for which conventional medicine was either insufficient or simply inadequate. The combination of skills she has using acupuncture in combination with Chinese herbal medicines have had a positive effect in our sense of health and well-being. I feel fortunate to have found her and highly recommend Ms. Hyton to anyone looking for a perceptive, capable and caring professional." ~Russ C.
West Asheville Acupuncture
Monday to Thursday 9:30 to 6:00
Friday 9:30 to 12:00
26 Fairfax Avenue, 28806
Text or Call (828) 606-6791
Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
All content copyright Dr. Nancy Hyton